Bullet Points: Government health cuts in Stanislaus County

February 19, 2011 

Here’s a look at some government health cuts in Stanislaus County, and at prospective cuts in Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2011-12 state budget:

CUT

• 55,000 county adults on Medi-Cal lost their dental, podiatry, audiology, psychology and other “optional” benefits in July 2009.

• 126 staff positions lost since 2005 at the county Health Services Agency, which provides health care to low-income residents.

• Almost 200 employees lost in the past three years at county Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, which oversees mental health and drug and alcohol services. The department also closed three mental health clinics.

• 250 seriously mentally ill homeless people lost access to intensive mental health services when the state cut funding for the program in 2007.

• About 60 mentally ill offenders lost access to the county’s Mental Health Court when the program lost funding in 2009.

• 100 frail elderly and disabled people are no longer being monitored through home visits and phone calls since the elimination of the Linkages program in 2009.

• Approximately 160 families with serious health, mental health or substance abuse issues are no longer receiving case management since funding for the High-Risk Maternal Child Health program was reduced in 2009.

• 112 pregnant and parenting teenagers are no longer being served since the county’s Adolescent Family Life program — which provides teens with home visits, parenting education and help staying in school — saw its funding reduced in 2009.

• 16 patients on average are tested by Stanislaus County for HIV every month, compared with an average of 98 before the state cut funding for HIV/AIDS testing and outreach in 2009. The same cuts cost the jobs of three outreach workers who distributed information about HIV/AIDS at local parks, bars and other areas.

PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS

Medi-Cal: Require patients — all of whom are low-income or disabled — to provide co-pays; limit patients’ visits to doctors; eliminate adult day care services.

Healthy Families: Increase program premiums for low-income families with incomes above 150 percent of the federal poverty level; increase ER co-pays; eliminate vision care.

Developmentally Disabled: Institute deep cuts to centers responsible for their care.

In-Home Supportive Services: Reduce the hours allowed to workers for care of the elderly and disabled.

Grant Reductions: Reduce grants to the allowed federal minimum for low-income disabled, elderly and blind.

Source: California Department of Health Care Services; Governor’s Budget Summary, 2011-12

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